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December 12, 2008 Conference Call Notes

Provided by: Steve Keighton, SOO - Blacksburg, VA (RNK)

Potential COMET Project spearheaded by Brian Etherton: We talked more about the project Brian proposed which evolved from a previous CSTAR proposal (see his emails from last week). General idea would be to work on probably more than one forecast problem where a mesoscale model ensemble approach would be beneficial (but certainly NWFS would be one of them), and the focus might remain in the Appalachians but it might also be broader. Idea is to leverage all locally run models (including at universities) and collect at RENCI (Chapel Hill), then do the ensemble calculations there and re-distribute some subset back to WFOs. Obviously some logistics to be worked out, but Brian and others believe this is certainly doable. This project would also take advantage of the WRF performance system at RENCI to do objective verification, and would likely utilize a grad student at NCSU.

Brian will be soliciting some input from our group and broader (offices to the east) by next week to help determine the topics to focus on, who is interested, what local model setups/domains are and therefore could they effectively be included (or willing to be changed). I'll send a summary to ER SSD to keep them in the loop of what we're thinking about. Deadline to get first draft to ER SSD is Jan 26, so Brian may be asking for a lot of input from us in January. For those who don't know, Brian will be moving from UNC-Charlotte to RENCI in May). Seems that the Eastern Region modeling goals support this kind of activity as well.

AMS Wx & Fcstg Conf (Omaha, Jun 2009): WFOs may not have money to travel in June, but we still talked about the possibility of presenting something related to NWFS, and probably something more specific than the general work the collaborative group is doing. RNK may consider doing something more on the banding work that Jim Hudgins presented at the NWA, but one idea that came up is to cover specific forecast methodologies in the NWS that have been developed based on the insights from the group. Blair at GSP has already developed a preliminary methodology, and Blair and Larry may share this with the group to get additional feedback and additions to, and then consider taking this. Abstract deadline to ER SSD is Jan 16!

Update on MRR and UNC-A sounding project: MRR data is flowing again at Poga Mtn! Hot off the presses, Doug Miller reports via email that an upstream sounding field program will take place this winter, and here are the details:

  • there will be soundings during some (all??) of the NWFS events, starting as early as 26 Dec 2008 and running through Apr 2009
  • Ken G of RENCI has promised at least $5000 to pay undergraduates to do the balloon launches, with more possibly on the way. If the number climbs significantly above $5000, we should be able to cover all of the NWFS events from 26 Dec 2008 - 30 Apr 2009
  • the sounding receiving unit is in transit between California and E. Tennessee State Univ.
  • I will set up the sounding unit and corresponding equipment either 19 December or early the following week before Christmas
  • most of the supplies have already been purchased, assuming a fully funded experiment

Possible use of new Linux "SREF Image Grabber" application for collecting local WRF images: Just an idea at this point, but Steve K and other SOOs as we develop experience with this brand new application may ask the author for help in configuring to do the same for some of our local WRF gempak output. This application currently collects the most-often used output from web-based SREF output at various locations into one easy-to-access menu, and also creates an archive if desired and room on local machines.

BAMS article: Still shooting for Jan 15 deadline to get responses to reviewers back to Jeff W. Everything is on Google Docs, so those who have were primary section authors need to try and have their edits and replies incorporated into the appropriate docs by the end of the year so that Steve K can compile in early January.

Local WRF update: RNK local WRF now running again with gempak images on web. 4km ARW core (explicit convection), run 3 times per day for a large domain (NAM12 init, with LAPS hotstart). "Model Info" link on our RNK page is old, and Steve will update next week, but the main link to the data from the NWFS page now points to current data!

Steve Z has not heard from Stan Benjamin about expanding the domain of the Rapid Refresh 3km WRF (HRRR) down into the Carolinas, but at least he's considering it. The link to this model is in the previous notes.

Future calls: Next call Jan 23 @11am. Should we continue alternating between 9am and 11am, or is one time best go with for all of the spring semester?

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